Ksenia Yurkova

Visual Artist

from: 01.07.2017   to: 01.08.2017

Ksenia Yurkova is a Russian interdisciplinary visual artist currently based in Helsinki. Working primarily with photography, video and artist’s books, Yurkova uses an unique approach, which combines sociological, scholarly, poetic, political and documentary elements, working with issues of memory, stereotyping, attitude and reliance. Her art constitutes an effort to help us distance ourself from the unintelligible structure of reality as it was handed over by previous generations, and replace it with a whole new framework in which modern humans can recognize themselves.

Graduated with honors in 2010 in St.Petersburg State University with a Master in Visual Journalism, Yurkova broadened her education with a Postgraduate course in Theory of Communication; as well as studies at the St.Petersburg Fotodepartament Foundation (2013-2015); and is currently studying towards her MFA at the Academy of Fine Arts Uniarts Helsinki.

Since 2011, Yurkova has exhibited widely. Next to several solo presentations, she took part in numerous group shows and notable photo festivals worldwide, including the 2015 and 2017 Athens Photo Festival (GR); the Lodz Fotofestival (PL) and the 2014 Openborder Festival (Amsterdam, NL).

Ksenia Yurkova has won a range of awards, they include: the Russian Photounion Prize (RU); the 2014 Gomma Photography Grant (UK); the 2015 Skammdegi Artist-in-Residence (ISL); the 2016 The Russian Photounion Prize (RU); the 2017 UNIARTS Grant (FI). Her work was shortlisted for the 2013 Kuryohin Prize (RU), and the 2016 Fotobook Festival Kassel Dummy Award (GE).

Her published works include: “Letters for Two, and No-One Else,” Dostoevsky Publishing, 2014; “Empty Expectations,” (artist book, privately published, 2015); “Roads Closed,” (artist book, privately published, 2016).


During her Summer 2017 research residency in SomoS, Yurkova worked on her ongoing project “Backbone Memories,” a video-documentary and performance piece through which she casts a spotlight on a concept introduced by Jean Laplanche: the inheritance of trauma, which is described as “a failed translation of an unremembered experience.”

Having chosen the Siege of Leningrad as an important theme of her work, Yurkova takes this human tragedy happened during World War II as a starting point for a wide-ranging reflection of the political connotations of food and starvation, which nowadays she retraces in such movements and lifestyles such as vegetarianism, veganism, green activism, dumpster diving and guerrilla gardening.


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